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Sunday, May 10, 2009
overheard on last.fm
Listening to:Georgia, Boz Scaggs
Reading:a boring Program Announcement
Weather:60ish, sunny
I really like last.fm. I have totally traded radioio70's for picking my own various streams on last.fm. I find that it really delivers up a mix I can enjoy if I pick an artist I really like. Streams just enough of my well-worn classic stuff from the artist and similar artists, but also peppers in just the right amount of artists and tracks that are totally heretofore unknown to me but that I instantly dig. It has broadened my horizons backward, if you will. I never knew I liked Big Star or Love or Gentle Giant until recently, and those guys are no johnny-come-latelys.

There's lots of groovy social networking technology behind last.fm, too. The streams are composed of collections of tunes built on algorithms applied to users' libraries and listening habits. If you are signed in and have listened to some tunes already (whether straight through their online player or through your scrobbled itunes or windows media player, more on this later), it instantly compares your musical compatibility with any other user whose page you visit. Sweet. Of course the longer you've been on, the more accurate it will become.

Althought there's a bit of a problem arising for me. It doesn't scrobble all your listening in this universe, just what you let it scrobble. Scrobbling is their term for aggregating info on the artists and tracks you have chosen to listen to. You can choose to embed a little chunk of software that keeps track of the songs you play on your ipod and computer via itunes or windows media player even when you aren't online. Then later when you're online, or after you've synced your ipod, it sucks that data up into the big database in the cloud and crunches some numbers for you and the userbase at large.

Of course there's lots of music listening in my world away from screens. I listen to tunes in the car a lot, not via ipod since I don't own one, but via my pda or radio or CDs or liv's ipod. I listen to lots o'CDs on my home stereo. None of that gets scrobbled. No biggie, except that of course I'm listening to stuff I own on those devices and media, so if I own it it's probably among my faves. So I tend to stretch out a little farther when I stream, since I can listen to stuff I don't already own. This results in my last.fm library being a little skewed away from my real core of favorite stuff, and will continue to skew farther the longer I perpetuate this approach. My compatibility comparisons will be increasingly less accurate.

So who gives a shit. It's not that big of a deal, just one of those minor annoyances. The app is still pretty darn groovy, but not as groovy as it appeared it would be at first.

But here's a little tidbit that enhanced its groove factor this morning. You can leave comments on users' profiles, artist profiles, albums, tracks. On the track Long Train Runnin by the Doobs, here was left this comment from a user named latostfm: "without love, rather than humans there would be some asexual species dominating planet earth." If you don't know the song, if you go listen to it you'll not only get to enjoy a great rock and roll song but you'll get more of a chuckle from this quote.

Happy sunday, earthlings.


permalink posted by cat 8:53 AM

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Rainy days and Mondays always leave me wet.
 
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